DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My girlfriend and I were putting up her fake Christmas tree the other night and got into an argument. She was angry and fired a few plastic Christmas tree balls at me and I fired them right back. Then she threw a real one that hit the ground and smashed into a million pieces. I felt tears coming because my parents used to have violent fights and my mother would throw things. I left the apartment and went home to my own place. I haven't phoned her since and she calls and texts a million times a day. I don't want her anymore. I really don't. What do I say? -- Turned Right Off Her, Winnipeg
Dear Turned Off: Tell her exactly what you told me, just once, on her voicemail if necessary. Then find yourself a different woman who would never dream of throwing anything at you, but would talk things out instead, because that's the way she ALWAYS is. That's the kind of person you need. You've had your quota of that other brand of misery already. Stand firm.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I get sick at work because I hate my boss. Sometimes I throw up in the bathroom. She is such a slave driver and she marches around inspecting everything we do which makes me nervous and then I get a queasy stomach. She is not doing anything wrong legally, but she never lets us alone to do out jobs. We are all adults who can be trusted, but she doesn't trust anyone and she lets us know it. She expects our hands to be busy every minute, even if there's nothing whatever to do. How can I get out from under? I need this job to keep my family fed. -- The Slave, Winnipeg
Dear Slave: It is sometimes easy to get a parallel job at something you're already doing with a rival company. They won't phone and check with your current boss and jeopardize your job there when you're still working. Even if you don't make a cent more, your peace of mind would be worth a lot and you would not be losing your lunch over this slave driver. Stress that involves dread and fear is very hard on the health and you need to stay strong and healthy for your family. Do everything you can now to find another job when you are not in the workplace. At home, type "job search Winnipeg" into a search engine and check out all sites including www.monster.ca, www.workopolis.com and www.winnipegjobbank.com
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a problem with my girlfriend's cell phone. She's constantly on it. Should I be worried? I've been told that cell phones ruin relationships, and I can sort of see it. Sometimes I look at her and she seems so sneaky on it, like she's talking to another guy. I have an expensive ring being paid for, I wanted to ask her to marry me New Year's Eve, but this cell phone issue is starting to get to me. I have trust issues from problems with my parents, and this overuse of cell phone at home is really making me wonder now. What should I do? One time I grabbed it out of curiosity, and she chased me into the washroom, really being defensive about it, like she was trying to hide something. We grew up together and know each other very well, are comfortable with each other until the topic of discussion is her cell phone. -- Cell Phone or Me? I Wonder, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Dear Cell Phone or Me: It's too early for a ring. Don't set yourself up to marry this woman until you're sure she is faithful to you. Everything must be solid and right when you give that diamond ring -- no worries, complete trust. You have two problems with this woman -- extreme rudeness (putting the phone before you) and the question of whether she's being faithful. Both problems need to be resolved before you even consider asking her to marry you. Don't tell her about the ring. Just let her know this week you're unhappy about these things, and be very frank about them. See if the situation changes, and stays that way, by Valentine's Day. If not, she's not the bride for you. Warning: If a marriage isn't solid and you divorce, you could lose your kids. That's a worst-case scenario, but women still tend get chosen for primary caregivers in a joint custody agreement. Think ahead to these really big issues, and be cautious.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org